The Sims 4 Nerd Brain Aspiration

Milestones and The Handy Reward Trait

by Tom "Metro" Schlueter

Completing the Nerd Brain Aspiration
Upgrading items via the Handiness skill is a key part of the Nerd Brain Aspiration.

The Sims 4 Super Nerd Aspirations

A walkthrough of the Nerd Brain and Computer Whiz Aspirations in The Sims 4. Includes details on the handy and webmaster reward traits, which allow instant upgrade of objects, turking for money, and a research binge..

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Alternate Guide and Milestones

Overview and Set Up
There's a LOT of skilling in this Aspiration. The main focus is capping Logic, but your Sim will also dabble in Woodworking via the Handiness skill. Finally, your Sim needs to build a Rocket at the end, so leveling up Rocket Science is going to happen as well. The good news is that Sims that choose a Knowledge Aspiration are automatically given the Quick Learner trait - Quick Learners learn all skills a little faster making it probably the best bonus trait in the game given how much time most Sims spend at skilling. Carl's (Logic Guide and Handiness Guide are excellent references for a player pursuing Nerd Brain.


The most obvious trait to give your Sim in CAS is Genius. Genius Sims randomly get the Focused mood which is exactly the state you want to be in with all of your nerdy skilling that you will be doing. If you look at the first screenshot you'll notice a lot of buffs going on - it does not take too much effort to push your Sim into Very Focused for even faster skilling. The other two traits are up in the air for you. I tend to do the "bear in the woods" no building route for my Sims for simplicity and for saving money in the beginning, so I gave my Sim the Loves Outdoor trait. She also flew solo so was a Loner.

Milestone 1 - Prudent Student

  • Finish Reading 3 Books (75)
  • Achieve Level 3 Logic Skill (75)

Head to the library and read 3 books (make your first a Handiness book) to fulfill the initial Milestone. Buy a Microscope and start leveling Logic that way. Then, you can then sell any prints that come up later.

Try and remember to regularly check out your Sim's Whims. If a Whim fires that cannot be completed quickly, then just cancel it and see if another replaces it that makes more sense. It's a great way to quickly acquire Satisfaction to purchase rewards to make your journey to finish Nerd Brain faster. With the crazy amount of skilling in this Aspiration you're looking to get Morning Sim, Night Owl, and Savant as soon as possible. Your main source of income for now is going to be selling crafted items from Woodworking so grab Marketable too.

The Microscope: a not so subtle way to tell the neighborhood you're a king-sized nerd and into all things Logic. Welcome Wagon: "Welcome to the neighborhood, Sarah Bellum. So, where are you hiding this awesome microscope we have heard about?"

Milestone II - Erudite

  • Repair or Upgrade an Object (250)
  • Craft an object on the Woodworking Table (350)
  • Achieve Level 6 Logic Skill (300)

Just hop on your John Deere microscope to continue leveling up Logic. If you have the Marketable reward, then you can earn a pretty penny and have some fun cranking out various sculptures and furniture on the Woodworking Table. The Wall Hanging and Bathtub give a nice return on your investment. "Rub a dub dub.three astrophysicists in a tub."

Upgrading the toilet at the public library is a nice way to finish Milestone II. Plus, who wouldn't take a new opportunity to socialize?

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Toilet Upgrade Sims 4
Sarah Bellum: "Hi there. I am upgrading this toilet with Superior Flush to prevent others from witnessing horrific sights. Now then... let's shake hands and properly introduce ourselves."

Milestone III - Rocket Scientist

  • Achieve Level 5 Handiness Skill (350)
  • Launch or Upgrade a Rocket 5 Times (500)
  • Own a Rocket Ship (350)

I'm guessing your Sim is probably past level 5 Handiness at this point, but if they are not, then just upgrade a few things around the lot like your shower, toilet, etc. and you'll be done with the Handiness component.

Now it's time for your bank account to take another hit: First the Microscope, then the Woodworking Table, and now you'll be plunking down $5,000 more for a Rocket. This is why I recommend the "bear in the woods" technique of no building - you'll be spending a lot of money in this Aspiration! Oh, yeah - and you'll need $1,000 to build the rocket. I was hoping little rocket gremlins were going to show up to build this monstrosity while I was dreaming sweet logical and handy dreams, but alas, no such luck.

A rocket takes a loooong time to build - at least a full day depending on how good you are at micromanaging needs. Since the rocket takes so long to build, then you'll likely be at the point where you just want to wrap up the Aspiration. Launch the rocket to Explore Space 5 times and do not take the time to do 5 upgrades. You can do them all back to back with no cooldown between launches.

Launch a rocket for Nerd Brain
Sarah looks very professional in her spacesuit. She steels her nerves, takes a deep breath and...
Rocket Launch Nerd Brain
proudly waves to the imaginary large crowd as she departs for final Explore Space mission.

Milestone IV - Nerd Brain

  • Achieve Level 10 Logic Skill (1500)
  • Fix or Upgrade 5 Objects (1250)

It would be nice if the objects you have upgraded already counted towards the last Milestone, but they do not. You're starting from scratch. But, not a big deal here - just a question of upgrading 5 more objects either on your lot or out in the world, and then finally capping Logic.

Handy Reward Trait
The tooltip states this reward allows a Sim to instantly upgrade or repair any object. I am having Sarah Bellum move on to the Computer Whiz Aspiration - note the new Aspiration in the bottom left in the screenshot below, so having her instantly upgrade her computer seemed like a nice way to prepare for that work ahead. To be honest this is almost too cool for words. Think about this: you could build an enormous home with a huge number of upgradable objects, and in practically no time at all you would have an entire home of upgraded items. Awesome. There are no negatives here - unquestionably one of the best reward traits in the game.

Instant Upgrade from the Handy Reward Trait
So how "instant" is this magic ability? She whipped out what looked like an iPad and then twisted a screwdriver into it a few times and bam - a few Sim minutes later her computer had all possible upgrades. Sweet.

I want to end with just a tiny bit of criticism for Nerd Brain: for an Aspiration where your Sim needs to be Focused much of the time, it's rather unfocused. The main culprit is the Logic skill. It's sort of thrown in there as just something to max. How does Logic really fit into the picture? What's the connection? The need to buy and launch a rocket towards the end is interesting and fun stuff, so maybe drop Logic and expand on that aspect, leveling up Rocket Science and perhaps having mission requirements instead.

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Comments (2)

It seems like the main downside of the Instant Upgrade is that it has some kind of a cooldown. Not sure how long it is, but from a quick glance it seems to be somewhat similar to the Kleptomaniac's Swipe cooldown -- about 8-10 Sim hours, I think?

I might have to experiment a bit and note how long the cooldown is.

Five years since the last post, but it's worth mentioning that the Instant Upgrade finally has a downside. Using it on a toilet with the Eco Expansion Pack installed will upgrade it with a compost generator, and if you forget to empty it of compost after each use, will set your toilet on fire, and your sim along with it.

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